National Trails Day

National Trails Day is June 6, 2020 and it’s a day to celebrate trails for the recreation and exposure to nature that they provide. Now more than ever, we’ve recognized the incredible benefits of trails within our communities, and with more than 12,000 miles of trails in the state, Pennsylvanians have a wealth of trails and trail systems to explore.

To celebrate this day, we encourage you to Explore Pennsylvania Trails to find a trail near you, and to connect with trail groups to find events, outings, and volunteer opportunities (please note that many outings and events have been cancelled due to COVID-19).

You can also show your appreciation for trails and those who make them possible on social media by using the hashtag #NationalTrailsDay and tagging your favorite park or trail.

As you explore the trails, please remember to leave no trace and to also follow PA Department of Health and CDC guidelines to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Trails 101: Leave No Trace

Due to COVID-19, people all across Pennsylvania are taking to trails to enjoy the respite that nature offers. However, while we need the respite of nature during these trying times, nature also needs us to protect it. Adhering to leave no trace principles is one of the ways in which we can reduce our impact upon our trails and open spaces. Below are leave no trace guidelines that you can follow next time you hit the trail.

Avoid Crowds
Avoid crowded trailheads and parking lots. Research the park beforehand and visit outside high times of use. If you see a full parking lot at a park or preserve, find another parking lot or another park or preserve altogether. Do not make parking spaces by parking in the grass or alongside roadways, as it damages the landscape.

Dispose of Waste
Whatever you bring must be brought out! Take all trash with you and dispose of it properly. Remember to also clean up after all pets. Due to COVID-19, many open spaces are functioning on reduced staff, so trash cans fill up quickly. Remember that many facilities at this time are closed, so make sure that you use the restroom at home before heading out.

Be Considerate of Others
Be respectful and courteous to others while on the trail. Control pets by keeping them on a leash and keep noise to a minimum. During this era of COVID-19, remember to keep a social distance of six feet between you and the next person on the trail. If you’re feeling ill, stay home.

Respect Wildlife
Leave the “wild” in “wildlife”! Do not approach wildlife, but observe them from afar. Remember to secure food and keep food scraps away from animals. If you are walking or hiking with your pets, keep them on a leash and do not allow them to chase or disturb wildlife.

Leave What You Find
Keep wild spaces wild! Do not pull, dig, or otherwise disturb natural objects and areas. Always remember to look, but not touch.